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The TCA’s Unstable Approach Towards RPM Practices


In May 2019, Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) has published two reasoned decisions, namely Bfit Decision[1] and Minikoli Decision[2], in which it assesses the resale price maintenance (“RPM”) activities of the concerned undertakings. These decisions bear significance since they represent the TCA’s unstable approach towards RPM activities. In the aforementioned cases, the TCA adopted an effect-based analysis, as it generally did in the past. However, the TCA had displayed a deviation from the said approach in its previous two decisions; Sony Decision[3] and Henkel Decision[4] and adopted a by object analysis. Therefore, Bfit and MinikoliDecisions show this unstable approach.

Turkish Competition Authority to Shape the Future of Multi-Play Services in Telecommunication Industry [TTNET]


On 21 December 2018, Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) published its decision regarding the investigation conducted against TTNET A.Ş. (“TTNET”), the leading internet service provider in Turkey, which is vertically integrated with the incumbent wholesale broadband access provider, Turk Telekom. The decision comprises of TCA’s assessment as to whether TTNET had abused its dominant position, in violation of article 6 of the Law No. 4054 on Protection of Competition (“Competition Law”), via certain types of bundled sales of fixed broadband internet and pay TV services.

Turkish Data Protection Authority’s Recent 
Resolution Concerning SMS, E-mail and Call Advertising


Shortly after its establishment with the Turkish Data Protection Law No. 6698 (“Law”), the Turkish Data Protection Authority (“DPA”) has started to observe the data protection ecosystem of Turkey. In this regard, the DPA has been focusing on the areas, where data protection concerns are perceived more concentratedly. One of the instruments that the DPA has been putting to use is adopting resolutions, where the violation is prevalent.  It is worth to note that “resolutions” are different than “decisions” in nature within the meaning of the Law.

Avellum Advises A-Development on Sale of Smart Plaza Obolon


Avellum has advised A-Development on the sale of Smart Plaza Obolon, a newly constructed shopping and entertainment center in Kyiv, to URE Holding Limited.

Avellum and Weil, Gotschal & Manges Advise Cornerstone Partners on Acquisition of CoreValue

Deals and Cases

Avellum has provided Ukrainian counsel to Polish IT company Cornerstone Partners, the co-owner of IT Kontrakt, on its acquisition of CoreValue, a US-headquartered IT service provider with Ukrainian roots. Weil, Gotshal & Manges was lead counsel to Cornerstone Partners.

Aequo Advises Dragon Capital on Acquisition of Kyiv Shopping Center


Aequo has advised Ukrainian private equity fund Dragon Capital on its acquisition of the Smart Plaza Obolon, a 13,000 square meter shopping and entertainment center in Kyiv.

Cobalt Advises Brivibas Parks Projekti on Acquisition of Riga Property


Cobalt has advised M.M.M. Projektai, a real estate development and investment group operating in Central and Eastern Europe, on its acquisition of real estate at Brivibas Gatve 201 in Riga from RE Property SIA.

Cobalt and Dentons Advise AirBaltic on EUR 200 Million Bond Issuance


Dentons and Cobalt have advised Latvia's airBaltic airline on its July 23, 2019 placement of 200 million euro issue 6.75 percent 5-year bonds — the largest corporate bond issuance ever originating from Latvia. Linklaters advised J.P. Morgan as global coordinator and it andSEB as joint bookrunners.

Cobalt and Sorainen Advise on Practica Capital's Investment in Oxipit


Cobalt has advised Practica Capital on its investment in startup Oxipit. The EUR 1.5 million seed round was co-led by Practica Capital, Koinvesticinis Fondas and various business angels. Sorainen advised Oxipit on the deal.

The Buzz in Macedonia: Interview with Dragan Dameski of Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska

North Macedonia

“Unfortunately the situation in Macedonia is not bright” says Dragan Dameski, Partner at Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska in Skopje, referring to the prolonged political instability in Macedonia, and the “selective implementation of rule of law by the official institutions and bodies in power.”

New Changes in Macedonia’s Law on Construction Land to Ease the Sale of Land

North Macedonia

The Government of the Republic of Macedonia, in its program for the period 2014-2018, incorporated a project that shall enable electronic concluding of real estate purchase agreements.

Amendments in Macedonia’s Notary Public Regulations to Bring Procedural Efficiency

North Macedonia

It is expected that the new Law on Notary Public will overcome the weaknesses identified in the existing Law and will also lead to higher efficiency in the notary public operation.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasyev and Partners Defend Interests of Finnish Pharmaceutical Company Orion Corporation in Patent Dispute


Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners has successfully represented the interests of the Orion Corporation, a Finnish pharmaceutical company, before the Cassation Appeal instance court in a patent dispute.

EPAM, VMP, and Baker McKenzie Advise on Issuance of JSC Development Bank Eurobonds


Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, reportedly working alongside Clifford Chance, has advised Citigroup Global Markets Limited and Raiffeisen Bank International AG as joint lead managers on the issuance and placement of Belarus's JSC Development Bank's corporate Eurobonds totaling USD 500 million. Vlasova Mikhel & Partners advised JSC Development Bank on matters of Belarusian law and Baker McKenzie advised the bank on U.S. and English law.

EPAM Successful for Petersburg Tractor Plant in Claim of Unfair Competition Against Spetsstroymash


Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasyev and Partners has successfully defended the interests of the Petersburg Tractor Plant in an unfair competition dispute.

Regulation on Radio, Television and On-Demand Broadcasts on the Internet


The amendment to the Law on Radio and Television Broadcasts (“RT Law”), which was published in the Official Gazette of March 28, 2018, regulated broadcasting services (i.e. radio, television and on-demand broadcasts) provided through internet and required these services and their providers (media service providers and platform operators) to be under the supervision and authority of Radio and Television Supreme Council’s (“RTUK”). The Regulation provides detailed information regarding this process.

Quarterly Update on Trade Defense Cases in Turkey (June 2019)


The authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio, has been given from the Ministry of Economy to the Ministry of Trade (“Ministry”). Within the scope of this authority, the Ministry announces its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.

Presidential Circular on Information and Communication Security Measures


Presidential Circular on Information and Communication Security Measures (“Circular”) is published in the Official Gazette of July 6, 2019. The aim of the Circular is reducing of security risks and governing measures to be taken to ensure safety of information which is critical to national security and public order.

CMS and Integrites Advise EuroCape on Financing of First Phase of 500MW Wind Power Project in Ukraine


CMS and Integrites have advised EuroCape Ukraine I LLC, a subsidiary of independent renewable energy company LongWing Energy SCA on equity and senior debt financing it received for the construction of the Zaporizhia Wind Farm in Ukraine.

Integrites Ensures Ukrainian Recognition and Enforcement of German Verdict for Flooring Industries Ltd


Integrites has advised Flooring Industries Ltd Sarl on Ukrainian law elements of three cases against a Ukrainian debtor heard by German courts, helped with the collection of evidence for those cases, and then successfully represented Flooring Industries in recognition and enforcement proceedings of the German verdict in Ukrainian court.

Intellectual Property: Industry News_2nd quarter of 2019


The team of the intellectual property practice of INTEGRITES prepared a compilation of relevant news in the field of protection of IP rights for the second quarter of 2019.

May the Workforce be With You! – But With What Contract?


A common solution to the chronic workforce shortage seen in the entire region nowadays is that one company provides labour to another. However, one should be careful with these agreements: depending on the circumstances, the tax authority (NAV) may reclassify these contracts, which could result in major tax expenses.

Accidents at Work – Which Also Hurt the Employer


During a posting, the employee is bitten by a tick. He throws his back out while loading. He gets sunburnt while working outside. A common feature of these cases is that they are all accidents at work. Yet, if the employer does not pay attention to these, he can find himself at a serious disadvantage.

Security Firms – Can You Be Sure They’re on the Level?


A recently released NAV guidance gives a list of those signs that could indicate that a security firm is involved in VAT fraud. The list will certainly help companies that accept invoices from such security firms, but it’s still a pity that the guidance wasn’t issued ten years earlier.

The Buzz in Serbia: Interview with Jelena Gazivoda of JPM


According to JPM Senior Partner Jelena Gazivoda, Serbian law firms are doing well these days. "We are all very busy these past few months, which is good,” she says. "Notwithstanding the fact that there are different comments in newspapers, we are not really feeling any bad signs. In fact, we are all participating in some significant transactions, making us really busy.”

JPM Advises C.D Holding Internationale on Partnership Agreement with Emergo Sport


JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic has advised C.D Holding Internationale SAS on its entrance into a partnership with the current owners of Serbia's Emergo Sport d.o.o.

JPM Advises China’s CSI on Concession for Four Underground Garages


JPM has advised China Shandong International Economic and Technical Cooperation Co. LTD regarding a concession project for four underground garages in the City of Belgrade.

Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii and Clifford Chance Advise on Abris Capital Partners Acquisition of Global Technical Group


Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii has advised Fadi Rida and Mihai Stanescu, founders of the Global Technical Group, on their sale of a majority stake in the group to private equity fund manager Abris Capital Partners. Clifford Chance Badea advised Abris Capital Partners on the deal.

The Corner Office: Performance Reviews

Legal Markets

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across CEE about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: How do you do performance reviews, and how important are they to the planning and management of the firm?”

Karanovic & Partners Advise Ionity on First HPC Stations for Electric Cars in Slovenia


Karanovic & Partners has advised Ionity, a Munich-headquartered joint venture of the BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford, and the Volkswagen Group with Audi and Porsche, on opening its first 350 kW charging stations in Slovenia.

The Hungarian Constitutional Court Rejected the Constitutional Complaint on the Administrative Court System


In February 2019, 55 Members of the Hungarian Parliament filed a constitutional complaint to the Constitutional Court, requesting the Court to examine the laws regarding the Administrative Court System whether it is in compliance with the Fundamental Law of Hungary.

Expected Tax Benefits in Connection with the Taxation of Asset Management Foundations in Hungary


The Hungarian legislation introduced the asset management foundation as a new type of asset management in March 2019, which is very similar to the well-known trust. According to the bill on amending certain tax laws submitted by the Hungarian Government in June 2019, the foundation performing asset management will be considered as a taxable person for corporate income tax purposes. The foundation must fulfil its tax liability in the same way as the assets managed by a trust. However, if the foundation established by a natural person in favour of a natural person beneficiary has income only from financial instruments or from the exercise its rights of disposition of such instruments, the income from such activities are not taxable for corporate income tax purposes.

European Commission Publishes Guidance on Free Flow of Non-Personal Data


On 29 May 2019 the EU Commission published a guidance on the interaction between the Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data (FFD Regulation) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In particular, private businesses, notably small and medium-sized enterprises and other entities which process data in the course of their professional activities, will benefit from the guidance.

Decision on Privatization Plan for 2019 has been published in the Official Gazette No. 013/19 of 01 March 2019


The Government of Montenegro, at the session of February 7, 2019, passed Decision about The Privatization Plan for 2019 which is published in the Official Gazette No. 013/19 of 01, March 2019 and it came into force on 9, April of the same year.

Vujacic Advises Atlas Invest on Sale of Budva Property


Law Office Vujacic has advised Atlas Invest on the sale of "The Old Post" building in Budva, Montenegro, to an unnamed private individual, for EUR 3.2 million.

Intellectual Property Rights in Montenegro


The development of intellectual property rights in Montenegro started when Montenegro became independent in 2006 and since the Intellectual Property Office of Montenegro – which deals with industrial property rights – started operations in 2008.

Bojana Tkalcic-Dulic Retirest from Tkalcic-Djulic, Prebanic & Jusufbasic-Goloman

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Tkalcic-Djulic, Prebanic & Jusufbasic-Goloman Law Firm has announced that Senior Partner Bojana Tkalcic-Dulic retired at the end of 2018. 

The Buzz in Bosnia & Herzegovina: Interview with Arela Jusufbasic-Goloman, Partner of Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic & Jusufbasic-Goloman

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic & Jusufbasic-Goloman Partner, Arela Jusufbasic-Goloman, says that no significant laws or regulations have been passed in Bosnia & Herzegovina recently that could influence the work of lawyers or the business sector, although they are much needed.

The Buzz in Bosnia & Herzegovina: Interview with Adela Rizvic of Advokatski Ured Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic i Jusufbasic-Goloman

The Buzz

"There are certain developments influencing our day-to-day business,” says Adela Rizvic, Partner at Advokatski Ured Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic i Jusufbasic-Goloman in Sarajevo.

Food Trade in Slovakia Will Have New Rules


On March 28, 2019 the Slovak parliament adopted Act No. 91/2019 Coll. on Unfair Conditions in Food Trade, which completely replaces previous legislation on the subject.

Adventures in Bringing a Novel Tobacco Product to Market

Czech Republic

The tobacco products market is heavily regulated in the Czech Republic, as it is across the European Union. A key document is the Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU), which sets out a uniform, detailed framework for all EU member states. The TPD thus provides substantial direction regarding tobacco regulation, tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes, as well as novel tobacco products. It includes comprehensive definitions of various types of tobacco products and regulates their labeling and packaging, mandatory health warnings and security features, and how to place them on the EU market.

Dentons and PRK Partners Advise on Hana Financial Investment Acquisition of Prague Office Building

Czech Republic

Dentons has advised a South Korea's Hana Financial Investment, represented by the Mint Investments Group, on its acquisition of the Main Point Pankrac office building in Prague, from Aceur Investment S.A. PRK Partners advised Aceur.

A Consideration of Foreign Law Firms in Slovenia


Resentment by domestic law firms in CEE markets against the international and regional firms that have moved in on their once exclusive domain is a common, though perhaps diminishing, refrain. How do domestic law firms in Slovenia feel about the foreign firms that have opened up shop next door?

Miro Senica and Attorneys and Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners Advise on Sale of Gorenje Surovina to Eko Surovina


Law firm Miro Senica and Attorneys has advised household appliance manufacturer Gorenje d.d., on its December 20, 2018 sale of Gorenje Surovina d.o.o., a waste management services provider in Slovenia, to Eko Surovina d.o.o., a member of the Rastoder Group. Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners advised the buyers on the deal.

Selih & Partners and RPPP Advise on KJK Fund Acquisition of Sporting Goods Manufacturer Elan


Selih & Partners has advised the KJK Fund on its acquisition of Slovenian sporting goods manufacturer Elan from MLI (part of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch group) and Wiltan (part of VR Capital group) as sellers of Elan. Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners advised the sellers.

Regional Business Registers Portal (BIFIDEX) Starting to Operate


BIFIDEX (Business and Financial Data Exchange) is the service delivery platform of the Regional Business Registry Portal (RBRP) which, as of March 2019, has officially started operating. This portal offers transparent and easy access to information regarding the companies in the Western Balkan countries.

The Draft of the New Act on Trademarks on Public Debate


The draft of the new Act on Trademarks will be on public debate until August 13, 2019. The need for enacting the new Trademark Act is twofold. Firstly, the problems and experiences in the day to day appliance of the provisions of the current Trademark Act need to be implemented in the new text. Additionally, the trademark system in Serbia needs to be made compliant with the EU Directive 2004/48/EZ.

The Corner Office: Performance Reviews

Legal Markets

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across CEE about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: How do you do performance reviews, and how important are they to the planning and management of the firm?”

CMS and DLA Piper Advise Erste Group Immorent on Sale of Croatian Hotel Resort


CMS (on M&A) and DLA Piper (on financing) have advised Erste Group Immorent on the sale of the five-star hotel and apartment complex Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Dubrovnik Sun Gardens to Chinese investor ADC GmbH. Savoric & Partner advised the buyer on the deal.

The Buzz in Croatia: Interview with Boris Savoric of Savoric & Partners

The Buzz

The relative success of the center-right Croatian Democratic Union in the September 11th extraordinary parliamentary election in Croatia “should be good for Croatia and good for business" reports Boris Savoric, Senior Partner at Savoric & Partners in Zagreb, if the party succeeds in forming a government with one of the minority parties in the country.

The Glass CEEling

Baker McKenzie

Women’s Day is behind us, but the subjects of gender equality and equal opportunity are of year-round concern. This, the first part of a special two-part CEE Legal Matters article on women in private practice in CEE, provides the numbers and percentages from leading law firms across CEE, as well as a more thorough snapshot of one representative market. Part II of the report, in the June issue, will pull back the curtain even more, providing feedback and perspectives from lawyers across the region.

Legal Regulations Against Division of Agricultural Lands by Inheritance Under Turkish Law


Preventing the division of agricultural lands is important in preserving quality in the sector and ensuring the continued contribution of agriculture-related income to the domestic economy. As a result, every positive step taken in the agriculture sector creates a similarly positive movement in the economy. Among the most important steps taken in this regard in Turkey were the 2014 amendments to the Law on Soil Protection and Land Use No. 5403, including to the definitions of “minimum agricultural land size” and “agricultural land size of sufficient income,” affecting the division of inherited agricultural land and transfers of ownership of agricultural lands with designated sizes.

The Buzz in Turkey: Interview with Nazli Sezer of Sezer & Utkaner


“The biggest problem now in Turkey is the ongoing elections,” says Sezer & Utkaner Executive Partner Nazli Sezer, who points out that the country has been in election mode for three years now.

Precedential Problems Faced at Reemployment Applications after Finalization of Reemployment Lawsuits


In accordance with Turkish Law, employee’s employment security rights are secured with reemployment lawsuit. At cases where labor contract of employee terminated unlawfully, employee can request his/her reemployment (compensation in case of not being accepted to job) and fee for the period he/she was not able to work due to unlawful termination. But even though court rules for reemployment, employee must act in accordance with time periods and conditions regulated at law. Otherwise, employee might not benefit from the earned rights even though the verdict of court regarding reemployment lawsuit is in favor of the employee. In this context, regulation regarding employee to make an application to the employer within 10 days after service of finalized court verdict of verdict to him/her; directly effects employee’s rights and it has been seen that this regulation is interpreted differently by different chambers of Supreme Courts.

DLA Piper and Schoenherr Advise on South Korean Investors Acquisition of Vienna Hilton Parkview


DLA Piper has advised a consortium of South Korean investors working with asset manager Mastern Investment Management on the EUR 375 acquisition, made as part of a joint venture with Munich-based asset manager Wealthcore Invester Management, of the Hilton Parkview Vienna. The sellers — two Austrian family firms — were represented by Invester United Benefits and advised by Schoenherr.

Schoenherr and DLA Piper Advise on Hotel Weismayr Lease with Selina


Schoenherr has advised the Tscherne family — the owners of Hotel Weismayr in Bad Gastein, Austria — on their entrance into a 20-year lease with the Selina hospitality group. DLA Piper advised Selina on the deal.

Spotlight On Automotive Industry: Introduction to the Series and Financing


By outsourcing production of major parts of car components, carmakers have also outsourced a substantial amount of their financing needs and associated risks to their suppliers. Still, despite rather slim margins, the prospect of a fairly stable cash flow over a number of years has made the automotive supplier business viable in the past. However, this viability is becoming questionable. This is visible in the number of struggling or even insolvent suppliers, the German group Eisenmann being a very recent example.

Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Agricultural Land


Foreigners acquiring ownership of agricultural land in the Republic of Serbia.

The Fashion of the Day: Balkan Legal Alliances

Legal Markets

Partners at Serbian Law Firms Discuss the Growing Number of Legal Alliances Appearing Across the Former Yugoslavia 

Serbia: Terms and Conditions for Attracting Direct Investments


In late December 2016, the Government of Serbia passed the new Decree on Terms and Conditions for Attracting Direct Investments. The Decree supplements the Law on Investments (2015), regulating in finer detail criteria, conditions and means of attracting direct investments, in particular granting of State incentive funds for investment projects. 

Wolf Theiss Advise Kuehne & Nagel on Takeover of Joebstl


Wolf Theiss has advised Swiss logistics group Kuehne & Nagel on the takeover of Austrian freight forwarding and transportation company Joebstl. RPCK Rastegar reportedly advised Joebstl.

Florian Kusznier Moves from Schoenherr to Wolf Theiss


Former Schoenherr Partner Florian Kusznier will be joining the Corporate/M&A team of Wolf Theiss at the beginning of September 2019.

Wolf Theiss Advises Miba on Expansion of E-Mobility Business


Wolf Theiss has advised Miba AG, acting through its Miba eMobility GmbH subsidiary, on its acquisition of a stake in VOLTLABOR and establishment of a joint venture in the field of battery systems for mobile applications with the company.

Watson, Farley & Williams Advises on Financing Agreement with Metric Capital Partners


Watson Farley & Williams

Watson, Farley & Williams has advised Leobersdorfer Maschinenfabrik (LMF), a portfolio company of the Equita private equity company, on a new financing agreement with European private capital fund manager Metric Capital Partners.

The financing by Metric is expected to support further international growth to reinforce LMF’s positioning as a global provider of premium compressor systems. 

Leobersdorfer Maschinenfabrik is headquartered in Leobersdorf, Austria, and is a leading manufacturer of made-to-order high-pressure piston compressors for natural gases, process gases and air. LMF’s compression solutions are provided for a range of niche applications in the oil and gas industry. Equita is an independent private equity company unaffiliated to banks, acquiring majority stakes in medium-sized companies in the German-speaking markets.

The WFW team advising EQUITA and LMF on the facility and related documentation was led by WFW Partner Stefan Kilgus, with support from Simon Preisenberger and Associates Alexander Wojtek and Marcus Mutzelburg.

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